Pontifications: Which airplanes are revolutionary or evolutionary?

By Scott Hamilton

Feb. 18, 2019, © Leeham News: Last week’s column about the revolutionary Boeing 747 prompted some Twitter interaction asking what other commercial airplanes might be considered “revolutionary.”

I have my views. Let’s ask readers.

There are also three polls below the jump in addition to the usual comment section. Polling is open for one week.

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Ford Tri Motor: flying in history


1929 Ford Tri Motor NC9645. Photo by Scott Hamilton.

Oct. 4, 2016, © Leeham Co.: The Ford Tri Motor waddled up to the private air terminal in Aurora (OR) Sunday, with a three Pratt & Whitney radial engines running smoothly until shut down. Then the No. 3 engine backfired several times, spitting flames from the exhaust stacks.

This was its introduction of the ancient airplane to a score of people who waited more than an hour for rain to stop and the ceiling to rise to about 2,000 ft so short, 15 minute rides could begin.

With taxi in-and-out, the entire experience would last all of 30 minutes, not long for the $70 fee. But then, how many times does the opportunity to ride on one of aviation history’s most iconic airplanes arise?

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